The Works/Thoughts Connection


Remember the question we were always asked as kids: What do you want to be when you grow up? What happened to those goals? Maybe they were unrealistic (I want to be a warrior princess or king of the world) or extremely far-fetched (I want to be the queen of Morocco or the first landowner on Mars), but you must admit, they were sincerely held beliefs. Even if those childhood fancies have altered a bit, it’s still important to have goals. Have you had any good ideas lately? Do you have plans down in your heart – dreams of what you’d like to accomplish? How exactly to we get to the concrete (works) from the abstract (thoughts)? Those longings are not there for nothing.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established” (NKJ). The definitions of the main Hebrew words in this passage give deeper insight into its meaning.

  • Commit (galal) means “to roll away or trust.”
  • Works (ma’aseh) means “an action activity, product (specifically a poem), property, business, deed, thing made, occupation, thing offered, possession, handiwork, needlework, network, and workmanship.”
  • Thoughts (machashabah) means “a contrivance, i.e. intention, plan, device, imagination, purpose.
  • Established (kuwn) means “to be erect, hence to set up, appoint, confirm, direct, render sure or prosperous, ordain.

At first glance, this verse seems backward. Shouldn’t I think things totally through first before I commit them to the Lord? After all, I don’t want to take some fly-by-night idea to God and ask Him to bless it. No, the verse is in the right order but there’s a presupposition here that most of us miss and that’s why few of us get anything significant done.

The presupposition is that we actively follow through with the ideas God gives us. You see, we’ll have no works to commit to the Lord unless we have stepped out to do something about our ideas in the first place. Just as the lepers were healed “as they went” after Jesus had told them to go show themselves to the priests (see Luke 17:14), we will be directed and established as we work. We are to trust our business to the Lord, rolling it into His hands. Then the exact purpose and full intention that He has for it will be fully revealed to us, and the business will be confirmed and rendered prosperous.

So again, what about those goals and dreams? Get to work. As you are committed to God, He will direct your hand in your business, and He will establish and prosper you.


©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at

REMINDER: Remember to study your Bible regularly. At any time of the day or night, log on to Click the Bible Study channel, and then Sharon’s show, A Heart for the Word. Increase your knowledge of the Word in just 6 minutes a day.


~ by sanewriter on May 11, 2010.

One Response to “The Works/Thoughts Connection”

  1. My dreams and visions changed drastically when I developed mental health issues. Instead of being absorbed by a career and strong positive interactions with relatives, I focused on surviving-sometimes one day at a time. This was in the early 1980’s when I had not tried to develop a deep intimate relationship with God: Father, Son-Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. In November of 1994, I promised God that I would spend at least one hour each day in personal devotions-which at first consisted of Bible Study. Several evangelists pointed out the Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life-no one could get to the Father except through Him. I also learned that human counselors, no matter how dedicated, were not available 24/7 and none of them could become a personal friend because of professional ethics. I did learn that Jesus Christ is available 24/7, he desires an intimate relationship with each person who seeks to know Him, and through prayer provide for our needs. So what do I want to be when I grow up? A child of God!

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